When our British masters departed, they granted us various sorts of freedom. They were very generous.
The freedoms which they granted us were not available to themselves in their own motherland. Let’s have a few examples.
We were granted the freedom of playing cricket in the streets. This sort of freedom was not available to them back home. We were granted the freedom to dump our domestic rubbish in the streets.
This sort of freedom was not available to them back home. Our young men were granted the freedom to tease women in the streets. This sort of freedom was not available to them back home.
We were granted the freedom to take bath in the streets. This sort of freedom was not available to them back home. We were granted the freedom to urinate anywhere in the streets. This sort of freedom was not available to them back home. We were granted the freedom to use all sorts of public places as our bedrooms. This sort of freedom was not available to them back home.
What a marvellous variety of freedoms! But, unfortunately, there was one specific freedom which was denied to us. It was genuine political freedom.
When our British masters departed, they ensured that genuine political freedom could not take root in Pakistan. Soon after their departure, the Pakistani masses were enslaved by some of their own compatriots. Thus, for the masses the freedom was not at all a freedom. It was only a change of masters. As the time passed, the masses realised that the foreign masters were better than the indigenous masters.
The day the British rulers departed was the birthday of Corruption in Pakistan. They baby grew and grew at an astonishing pace. It soon became a fully developed creature. Now the country’s affairs were almost wholly taken over by Corruption. The country was under Corruption’s command. And Corruption extracted the blood of the masses and drank it as heavenly nectar.
Every country has numerous administrative systems. It has a political system. It has a civil-service system. It has a police system. It has a judicial system. It has an income tax system etc. Under the British rule every system functioned in accordance with the rules laid down for its functioning.
But when Corruption took over, it flung all the laws out of Pakistan into the Arabian Sea. It had a very simple philosophy of running the state. The philosophy consisted of one single command. The command declared: “Corruption, being the supremest power, is above all laws.” So Corruption, instead of running the country, ran away with the country.
The day the foreign rulers left, their administrative systems’ terms could not bear the pangs of separation. Because of intense emotional pain, the systems started malfunctioning. The malfunctioning progressed at a rapid pace. The malfunctioning created a national chaos. The chaos is a gold mine for the rulers and a furnace for the masses.
We won our freedom with the massive sacrifices of the masses. The freedom was not won for its own sake. It was achieved for a superbly noble Objective. The freedom is more than 60 years old.
But the Objective is still unachieved. The reason is that the rulers drove the Objective out of Pakistan and hermetically sealed the borders so that the Objective could never re-enter Pakistan. Poor Objective! Ever since its extradition, the Objective has been wandering about beyond the country’s bounds. Obviously, the Objective must be depressed and morose.
Our freedom has been extremely tyrannical to the masses and extremely generous to the non-masses. Our Haris, our tonga-walas, our vendors, our scavengers, our sweepers, our domestic servants etc were never so miserable under the foreign masters as they are now.
And our non-masses were never so prosperous under the foreign masters as they are now.
We have made two revelations to the world. One of the revelations relates to academic degrees and the other one to democracy.
We have revealed to the world that there are two brands of academic degrees: bogus degrees and genuine degrees. Likewise, there are two brands of democracy: bogus democracy and genuine democracy. Under the genuine democracy, the masses elect their rulers as their slaves. But under a bogus democracy, the masses elect their emperors.
Some Pakistanis are accused of having grabbed Assembly seats on the strength of their bogus academic degrees.
The country is in commotion. The world is stunned. Someone has suggested a way out. According to the suggestion, a law should be enacted under which a bogus degree could be transmuted into a genuine degree retrospectively. There would be nothing strange about such a law.We have already enjoyed the NRO.
There is no harm in having another NRO.
The writer is an academic.